[The rebuild after the earthquake is proving problematic for many. A reader lets us know of an issue faced by many homeowners.]
In Cass Bay, near Lyttelton, where I live a number of homes were severely damaged in the September, February, June and December earthquakes. The majority of the severely damaged houses were clad with heavy concrete blocks.
When Fletchers initially started repairing these houses the owners were encouraged to reclad with a sensible light weight cladding.
Changing the cladding involves getting a building consent from the council which requires a full set of plans of your property and design details of the new system of cladding. The cost of this paperwork could be between $4000 and $6000. Home owners would be expected to pay this amount.
This morning I have been in Lyttelton watching the last of the demolition of the Volcano Café and Lava Bar. I am here to ensure that the heritage agreements are being followed, with pieces of the buildings saved for heritage purposes.
It is nice to think that perhaps parts of these iconic buildings will in some way inform the future face of Lyttelton. I think it comes as a great comfort for people to know that reuse and recycling is on the demolition agenda.
The reports that a Nelson rest home housing many displaced elderly Cantabrians is closing its doors, the displacement of these people a second time is concerning, and unsettling for everyone involved.
Geotechnical engineers have completed rock mapping above Bridal Path Road and Hammerton Lane and are providing a scope of work and cost estimates to CCC this week for remedial works for both areas.
The timeframe for undertaking the work has still not been finalised, but it is hoped that it will start within the next few weeks. It is still likely that residents whose homes have been red placarded for geotechnical reasons will not be able to return to their homes for at least another two and a half months while these works and subsequent geotechnical reassessments are done.
Geotechnical engineers from Opus are beginning to map dangerous rocks in Morgans Valley/Horotane Valley areas. A solution to the rockfall risk for Morgans Valley will be several months away. It is likely that residents whose homes have been red placarded for geotechnical reasons will not be able to return to them for at least six months while remedial works are designed and implemented.
Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch, is a public cemetery and is not designated as a Services Cemetery, yet there are over 281 service personnel commemorated therein.
These heroic people have been largely forgotten in this once majestic greenspace and important heritage site which, in addition to years of neglect, has suffered greatly in the February 2011 earthquake.
Lest we forget, the Friends of Linwood Cemetery are holding an ANZAC Day Commemoration of Soldiers Remembered in Linwood Cemetery on Monday 25th April 2011, (Easter Monday and ANZAC Day). It will be from 10am-12pm.
We will meet at 10am in the car park on Butterfield Avenue and there will be a reading out of the Linwood Cemetery Roll of Honour at 10.15am. A temporary memorial will be created near the cemetery entrance. At 11am there will be an opportunity to place poppies on individual graves.
Today the programme of demolition in Lyttelton will start to make real progress. Lyttelton's iconic Volcano Cafe and Lava Bar were demolished last Friday and the Harbour Light Theatre, Empire Hotel and former No. 6 café will be demolished today and tomorrow.
This is an important step for the recovery effort in Lyttelton as many businesses dwarfed in the shadow of these unstable buildings will soon be able to reopen.
Over the weekend we had the third round of our community briefings. There was some news of set-backs in the Port Hills from Taylors Mistake right through to Princess Margaret Hospital in Cashmere. Significant land damage means that families are still unable to return to their homes in these areas and there was concern that residents are still without a robust time frame for action.
The CERA legislation is the next chance we have to light the flame of hope for people in our patch. The CERA Bill does a lot of things; it gives extraordinary powers to the Minister and a new multiagency government department.
Labour will work alongside people of any and all political persuasions to get our region up and running. We want to work with our elected representatives, our councillors and our community boards. They must have a role and they are not mentioned in legislation. These organisations have taken up the challenge of supporting members of our community; and we need to honour that.
We need to do this together in order to get it right. The future of our city is too important to leave talented people out of the loop. The Minister must listen carefully to submitters today. He has said he will only be making minor changes to the legislation---it is very frustrating to hear that kind of comment before the select committee has even taken place—it is an arrogant way to treat people willing to participate and offer their expertise in our recovery. If quake response was an Olympic sport we would have won gold. I urge the Minister to give openness and democracy a decent chance.
Everyone in Canterbury needs to have a strong voice in the recovery. There is an opportunity to ensure that what happens to our streets, or suburbs and our communities during the recovery addresses inequities that have existed and produces a better Christchurch as a result.
Minister Gerry Brownlee doesn’t understand the difference between a rebuild and a recovery. We could tragically miss the opportunity not just to get it right for Canterbury, but to get it better. Yesterday’s select committee provided an ironic commentary on the ‘new normal’ in Christchurch. These aren’t usual times. The select committee hearing in Christchurch yesterday certainly wasn’t usual.
Most Christchurch people didn’t have a bill to comment on or submit on. There were no technical advisers available. There were no officials. These facilities are normal, but they were denied to Canterbury stakeholders. Gerry Brownlee did answer some questions, and he promised to get back to us with other answers. We have to trust that he will.
Ann Tiller is a pharmacist and co-director of the Community Pharmacy group together with husband Joe who has worked for almost 15 years in the NZ pharmacy sector.
The Tiller's say their everyday low prices and reduced prescription fees will put over the counter remedies and other pharmaceuticals back within the reach of ordinary New Zealanders and families.
"Prescription charges for all subsidised medicines are reduced by 50%. There are no additional or hidden charges for sending or receiving faxes, making changes to prescriptions or any other similar service we provide," says Joe.